Chinese on-demand delivery giant Meituan has temporarily closed its Beijing community group-buying service, with speculation that it could be related to the city’s recent Covid-19 cases, reports Caixin. “From April 26, the pickup station of your choice will halt services temporarily, to ensure optimal user experience,” Meituan said in a notification published Monday both on its app and WeChat mini program.
One source at Meituan, who asked not to be named, told Caixin that that the company decided several months ago to shutter group-buying operations in unprofitable cities. The source said that Meituan’s Beijing operations have been unprofitable due to high costs.
But another Meituan source said it had ended the service not due to poor profitability, but because of a desire to focus on instant grocery deliveries, in which its army of gig workers deliver goods to buyers’ doors. Meituan’s group-buying, on the other hand, consists of third-party merchants-operated delivery and customers’ picking up their purchases themselves.